Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann are in a dead heat in Iowa, with 23% and 22% respectively, says a new poll by the Des Moines Register. Herman Cain is third with 10%, and all others candidates are tracking in the single digits. While Romney is a well-known name in Iowa, Bachmann's strong showing surprised many. "She's up there as a real competitor and a real contender," said a Republican pollster. "This would indicate that she's going to be a real player in Iowa."
The rest of the race is Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich with 7%, Tim Pawlenty at 6%, Rick Santorum at 4%, and Jon Huntsman at 2%. "If I were the Pawlenty camp, I would be enormously concerned about this poll," said an independent political analyst. But if there's a silver lining for the also-rans, the poll showed most voters are still undecided—69% of respondents said they could be persuaded to choose another candidate. (Read more 2012 Presidential Candidates stories.)